T Nation

Recovery techniques?

What’s everyone’s favorite recovery techniques?

Sleep

Ross

sleep

Get up, eat a sandwich, wait another 5 minutes, then join her back in the bedroom.

Surge or similar drink after training and sleep :slight_smile:

Mine personally is going home to a fussy baby… Nothing soothes the nerves more than a little one who is fussing it up.

Aside from that, I would say doing some activity. Something to get the blood flowing, but not be too strenuous in heavy lifting muscle requirement. Waterskiing, bike riding, sex, beer drinking, eating…

Oh, you mean that recovery.

Lots of sleep and lots of food. Some form of “cardio” for the area also helps such as sled dragging, traditional cardio, basketball (for legs), etc, but obviously not too much of it.

  1. Sleep, more than just getting enough hours, but also considering the quality of sleep. A lot of factors go into this, so check out a good book on sleep science and do some reading. Melatonin and ZMA before bed can help with the sleep quality.
  2. Nutritional status in general. Are you getting enough protein, calories, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, water, etc?
  3. Post-workout nutrition. Surge, need I say more?
  4. Biofeedback monitoring. Check your weight, heart rate, and BP each morning upon waking and make appropriate changes in training if you are starting to overreach (which happens before true overtraining).
  5. Regulation of muscle tension. This can take the form of pre and especially post-workout static stretching and massage (partner, self, etc.)
  6. Regulation of muscle temperature. There is quite a bit of disagreement on this area. Some say hot post-workout and some say cold. I think ice massage and cold showers are great post-workout, whereas sauna, steamroom, and whirlpool are probably good 1-2 days after training. In fact I think it my be feasible to cycle these modalities.
    For example:
    Day 1 (Post-workout): Cold shower, ice massage
    Day 2: Massage
    Day 3: Heat therapy of some type (sauna, steamroom, whirlpool).
    Day 4: Train muscle group again, and start cycle over.
  7. Meditation, autogenic training, etc. Great for post-workout and lowering levels of stress hormones. Get a copy of The Relaxation Response by Herbert Benson and read up (it’s a short read).
    I should point out that I got the terms “regulation of body temperature and muscle tension” from Ian King articles.

MD2006,

Good stuff.

“4. Biofeedback monitoring. Check your weight, heart rate, and BP each morning upon waking and make appropriate changes in training if you are starting to overreach (which happens before true overtraining).”

Could you go into more detail about this?

Thanks!

Neil,

He means measure your resting heart rate as soon as you wake up. If it increases at least 10 beats/minute, don’t train that day. A lot of marathon and distance runners do this.

I’m getting more and more into active recovery.

Only a fag would not train because he heart rate was elevated when he woke up.

I wouldn’t make it as simplistic as distance runners do and not train if your resting heart rate is elevated. Your heart rate will vary each day within a certain range, the important thing is to guage trends. The rule of thumb I have read is if your heart rate is 8 beats per minute over the average of the previous 7 days you are starting to get into the beginning stages of overtraining. At this point I don’t even think it would be necessary to cut back on training, but to examine what else is going on (nutritional status, non-training stress levels, sleep, etc.) and make appropriate changes. If this doesn’t do the trick then cut back on your training volume some, but increase it in the future as you get into better shape through increased GPP. The problem with recovery isn’t usually that your body can never handle that given volume, but that it wasn’t ready to handle it at that point in time.

Dude, I’m not saying I do it. I’m just answering the question.

A lot of the information on biological monitoring I got from reading Theory and Methodology of Training by Tudor Bompa. I own the 3rd edition, although I believe a new edition is now out (and might have a different title now).

Most of this information is in Appendix I. He reccommends measuring your waking heart rate and weight every day and recording it on a line graph. He states that the most important thing is to look for trends. If the heart rate suddenly goes up 6-8 beats over the previous trend of the graph it is a sign of reduced recovery (not necessarily via overtraining though). With the weight he says that it should remain stable and a downward trend over time could be a sign of too much volume. Keep in mind though that this text is geared toward athletes who usually try to keep their weights stable, unlike most of the t-mag readers who are constantly either bulking or cutting. Thus the advice about monitoring weight loss may not be of much use to many.

He also advocated keeping a line graph of hours slept per night along with the more subjective measures of quality of sleep, tiredness sensation, training willingness, appetite, and competetive willingness.

Quality of sleep can be graphed on a continuum of very deep, normal, restless, bad with breaks, or not at all. If there is a trend toward decreased quality of sleep it is a sign of a need for increased recovery.

Tiredness sensation is similary measured along a continuum of very rested, normal, tired, very tired, and painful tiredness.

Training willingness is either very good, good, poor, unwilling, or did not train.

Competetive willingness is measure as high indeed, average, low, or not at all.

All of these parameters can be measured to look for signs of overreaching and then adjustments can be made to the training program. By training program I mean more than just the workout routine, but also diet and lifestyle issues also.

goldberg nailed it. btw i just busted up laughing in class in front of my students after reading that. i think the hr monitoring thing is just slightly paralysis by analysis.

Goldberg, thats hilarious. Anyway, recovery begins the second you end your workout. First have your Surge then take a contrast bath or shower, you could ice/ice massage after this. Within 90 minutes eat a huge meal. The following day do a recovery workout for the sore muscles, light weight, high reps or drag the sled in a variety of ways. Some cardio type stuff can also help as well as stretching.

  1. Adequate sleep.

  2. Biotest Surge.

  3. Ice massage. (See Staley’s EDT programs in T-mag archives.)

What does ice do exactly?

I mean, it would reduce the swelling, but it would also reduce circulation, which is the opposite of what you want, right?

So what does it do?

Great stuff, MD2006, it gave me some really good ideas!

Ive just started ice massage on my hip and groin and its been working i believe. I also had a very bad achilles strain that stayed for a long time and wouldnt heal until my trainer said to try ice massage. It went away a weak later.